Just finished our first regional this year. Due to a variety of things we missed all of our practice matches on Thursday. Rest of regional didn’t go much better.
Any statistics available on the chances of making eliminations if you miss all of your practice matches? Could we basically throw out all of the teams that miss their Thursday practice matches from a scouting perspective?
Short answer: Never throw a team out of your scouting.
Story to back it up: 1058’s lone regional win came in 2010 at GSR. We missed all of our practice matches or showed up and didn’t do much, and didn’t perform very well until very late in quals. We had just begun to hit our stride just before alliance selections, but it didn’t look good for us to be picked since we had done so poorly early in the competition. Luckily one alliance had scouts smart enough to pay attention to more than just the beginning of the competition (1073 and 1519) and they picked us to join their alliance. Through those eliminations, we turned into the dominant force we would be all season (undefeated at Chesapeake and alliance captain at IRI) and helped our alliance to a regional win.
Don’t judge a team by their first few matches. Teams change and improve throughout competitions.
To shut out any teams because of what happens on the practice day would not be an intelligent move. Many teams use that time to modify their robots, or even just get them working. IIRC, team 233 has spent the first day of many competitions just getting their robots completed, but once they’d take to the field, they would dominate.
Our scouting system takes very little data on the practice day. Last year, we basically recorded who showed up and if they moved. However, when qualifications start, we take extensive data on each bot on the field, and analyze it to see which teams are functioning consistently and what strategies would be best to employ. This is how we make our selections.
Wait for the real matches before you make any decisions. Sometimes even great teams don’t come around until the end of qualifications.
We feel for you guys. We missed the majority of our practice matches installing our shooter and then fought for angle control all regional, really only hitting our stride in the last few matches. I’m very glad we have another regional to compete at.
While we all have nice anecdotes about how our team or various powerhouses like 233 and 469 spend all practice day rebuilding their machines, nobody has really answered the first of the OP’s questions. Does anyone have statistics that correlate missing practice matches with performance? My only guess is that this would come from teams who scout matches on Thursday, which not many do. I’d be willing to wager that the correlation would be fairly negative, overall.
Not that I disagree with the premise that you should never throw out a team.
At almost every event I’ve been to, there are usually a handful of teams that miss all and/or most of their practice matches due to some sort of robot issue or modifications. Usually, the only teams that are noticed as missing are those who are doing something ‘major’ or high profile to their machine - but I’d imagine there are just as many ‘normal’ teams missing matches to ‘finish’ their machine and/or to solve some problem.
I wouldn’t write off a team just for missing their practice matches, but I would say it’s safe to assume that they’re not going to come out swinging in their first qualification match or two… I know we’ve had issues getting up to speed after missing our practice matches, either due to comms issues, or a lack of overall machine testing.
While I don’t have any statistics, we typically do something that resembles “scouting” on Thursday (practice day). I know we are often surprised by the teams that we don’t see on the field Thursday.
Some additional examples of teams that didn’t show up on the practice field Thursday: 217 at Chesapeake 2012 (lost in semi’s), we (836) haven’t been on the field Thursday several times in the recent past, and IIRC 1114 at GTRE 2013 (I know they were busy all day in the pits making changes, don’t recall if they ever made it out).
Point being, no you can’t “forget about a team” simply because they were not on the field on Thursday (practice day).
No statistics, but anecdotal evidence from our team at Hub City last weekend:
We missed all our practice matches Thursday since we were making some big changes to our robot, based on what we learned from our practice robot. Friday morning, we had various malfunctions (and a bad schedule) that led to us losing most of our qualification matches. At the end of the day, by the time we got our robot working well, we were seeded in the high 30’s. Saturday morning, our robot worked great and we won all three of our matches and were seeded 26th. We were the first pick of the second seeded alliance captain, who had observed that our performance had greatly improved.
This was the result that we were expecting, as we signed up for Hub City as our “practice regional”. We expect to do minimal robot work and play some practice matches at Arizona.
TLDR: Skipping practice matches hurts seeding, but not necessarily performance by the end of the event.
Well we were at Duluth this past weekend. Missed most of our practice matches because of some upgrades being done.
First pick by first seed
Alliance took second place.
So, don’t write anybody off because they missed practice matches.
We are going to Milwaukee and due to the fact that the game in Duluth was hard on our bot and we will need to make repairs and improvements we will probably miss a practice or two there but we are still playing to win.
No, Team 2013 missed all but our last practice matches at GTRE and placed 7 overall after qualifications. We also did the same last year. Just because a team does not make their practice matches does not mean they will not be competitive.
Rather then looking at missing practice matches, which end incredibly early on the first day (and are even worse in disctricts), what about looking at teams that haven’t passed inspection by the end of the first day, or the start of matches? I think it’s fairly rare for a powerhouse to not pass inspection Thursday, even if doing the rebuild the robot dance.
Many years ago I was fortunate to witness one of the great FRC teams in their pit on a Thursday. They were the last robot to be inspected (it was my first season as an LRI, so it was my job to pester them about that), and they did not make a single practice match.
They did, however, win that Regional. And the Regional Chairman’s Award. And several other distinctions during the course of that season, including a very memorable final at IRI.
All of the which is to say, there are many factors to consider in making a pick list beyond how a team performs, or doesn’t, in Thursday practice matches.*
*One day soon, Thursdays at FRC Regionals will be only a memory.
Rather than looking at Winners (which due to picks can end up coming from #43 ranking), I recommend looking at ranking reflection vs. inspection. I think it would be incredibly rare for the #1 Alliance captain to miss matches due to not being inspected. I hate to say never, but I will say that I have never seen it. #1 & #2 Alliance captains have a vast majority of regional and district wins, so I would say there is a decent correlation to getting through inspection and being #1 & #2.